Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Contingency Plan{s}

Well I can't even say Monday Monday because it's already Tuesday! Days seem to be just flying by in a blurr. Anyways, welcome back! Hope you had a great weekend full of family time, love and laughter - I know we did. No matter how hard things have been that is one of the things I really admire about my husband. He will always take the time to laugh. I need to take more lessons from him that's for sure. Keep working with me honey!

During the day on Saturday our realtor in Abilene was having an open house for us. Sadly there have been so many interested buys for our property who cannot qualify because the criteria just keep going up and up. We have really struggled to sell this property simply due to the market. It is not located in the very best neighborhood by any means but it also isn't in the worst either. Finally this Saturday we received 3 variations of an offer on the house. One in writing, contingent to the home inspection, one verbal contingent on the sale of their house, and one offer to rent for a year while they work on their credit then to purchase at that point. We presented a counter offer to the written offer and they went ahead with the inspection. The house is nearly 100 years old, and it is on a pier and beam foundation. It doesn't take a genius to figure out it may need some foundation work. Well after finding that out, the buyer pulled out. Either you love old houses or you don't. We have since accepted the offer contingent to the sale of their house. They have a very small house a few blocks away, so they already like the neighborhood, they just outgrew their house. They are pricing it to sell fast (hopefully). If they are not under contract with us in 30 days we will rent it for a year to the third couple, take it off the market and leave it at that. So gratefully it seems like our house in Abilene is dealt with for now.

Saturday night we were blessed to have my parents watch our sweet babies while we met up for dinner with my brother Blair and his wife Danielle. Nothing fancy but we went out for pizza and were going to catch a movie at the cheap theatre. Over dinner (and our bad service) we decided it would be less expensive for everyone if we rented some movies instead. Off to Blockbuster! I learned a valuable lesson that night. We decided to let the ladies pick one movie and the guys to pick the other one. I will never do that again. We ended up watch "The Time Traveller's Wife" (obviously our pick) and "Zombieland". UGGH. It was so stupid and gross that we laughed the whole time but what a waste of time (in my personal opinion). I am so not into horror, guts, or science fiction of any sort. Definitely leave that one on the shelf.

Sunday was a nice relaxing day for everyone. We hung out at the farm and went for a walk outside. Mike pulled Harrison on the sled while I tried to keep up, then we had a snow fight with Harrison. It was so much fun! He was so adorable trying to scoop the snow up with his little mitts and throw it into the air. Almost all of his snow landed back on him which just made him laugh, and us laugh some more. I also gave Mike his first face wash ever! Too fun!

Monday morning Mike called the fellow at the Montana wind farm and went for an interview that afternoon. Everything went great, they are hiring 13 people over the next few months, but in batches of 3 at a time. He was really impressed with Mike's experience and knowledge, so our prayer now is that he will be included in the first batch of 3 to start on March 10. We have waited so long and had so many jobs slip through the cracks I don't know if we can bear to lose another one. Until he has actually started somewhere, Mike will continue to search for work. He has a phone interview on Thursday with a company who have employees all over the USA. We'll see how that goes in a couple more days.

Harrison was sick all day yesterday while Mike was gone to Montana. He actually hasn't been sick a whole lot so I'm new to dealing with it on my own. He was hot and sweaty when he woke up so I gave him some Tylenol which seemed to help. Poor guy. I think he is just teething really badly right now because of his 2 year molars. I put him to bed at 11:45 for his nap and he woke up at 2:40 crying, which isn't normal for him. I went downstairs to find him covered in puke. His pillow, his hair, ears, toys, blankets and sheets all covered in yucky puke. I do not have a very strong stomach so I scooped him up the best I could, striped him down and cleaned him up. He cried and cried and cried until Grandma came home at 5:20pm. He didn't have any dinner and went back to bed at 7 pm. I feel so bad for him when I can't help. He wouldn't even eat a popsicle. Today he is still not himself but at least is isn't nearly as bad as yesterday.

So I guess living in Montana is our contingency plan. Mike gets the job, he'll stay down there during the week and see us on the weekend for about a month or as long as it takes to be able to afford to rent a house on our own. Hopefully the house in Abilene sells (instead of rents) so we can afford to move all of our belongings to Montana when the time comes. Montana is just like Alberta, in fact we will be about 2 hours from my parents, just across the line. This way I can still bring the kids to Alberta for healthcare. It really seems like a win-win situation. I just can't wait for it all to finally be finalized.

Thanks for reading and keeping us in your prayers!

The Burnetts

Friday, February 19, 2010


I want to start by saying that Heidi has been and continues to be an awesome baby! I celebrated a couple weeks ago that she slept through the night for the first time, only waking for one feeding. I realize that many people do not experience this in the first 6 months, or even a year so I absolutely acknowledge that blessing in my life!! She has since only woken up a night or two but is very consistently sleeping anywhere from 10/11pm til 5/6am, feeding then going back to sleep until about 8/9am when the house gets to rowdy for anyone to stay asleep. What a blessing!

Today we were blessed for Mike to get a chance to work for cash so I am alone with the kids at home. I am blogging while my darlings are sleeping. I should have slept but decided to write instead, I hope you're reading!! After getting everyone fed and dressed today I decided to make the phone call for Mike's interview. He is scheduled for Thursday, February 25 at 3:15 CST so please say a prayer for him then if you think about us. I also decided to do some "digging" around on the internet for some more information.

During his last trip to the border Mike was informed that they are expanding a wind farm very near by but on the US side of the border. I did some research and found some news paper articles about the project etc. and then looked up the company's website. No phone number, but there was an email address. Something to work with is always good! So I write up a nice email and send off Mike's resume. It can't hurt right?

Today I went back to the company's website to see if there was any way to follow up on the application. Nope, not a single phone number. Hmmmmm... I decided to just google the company and add MT (for Montana) behind it to see what happens. Jackpot! A Montana phone number. So, being Friday do I call and get a contact name and number for Mike to call on Monday or do I wait and let him call for himself on Monday? I have time, the kids are quiet, so I decide to call. The receptionist answers and I ask for the name of the site manager. She gives it to me politely and asks if I need to speak with him. I explain that I'm actually calling for my husband who isn't home at the moment and she says "oh he just walked in, I'll let you talk to him directly". I slightly panic about what to say because what is a manager going to think about a wife calling on behalf of her husband??? I introduce myself and quickly tell him why I'm calling, and give a quick blurb about Mike's experience and he says, "oh wait, did you say Mike Burnett? I think I have his resume right here!" AWESOME! THANK YOU FATHER! We continue to chat and Heidi and Harrison become less quiet and the fellow says "do I hear kids?" and I explain. Well turns out he has 2 kids too, about the same age apart as ours. He and his wife moved to Montana from California and they love it here. Yes, he is still hiring for a few technician positions and would love to speak to Mike - in person! An interview!! ANOTHER PRAISE, THANK YOU GOD! He says to have Mike call him on Monday morning to set up a time to meet next week. AMEN!! I am so grateful for the Lords perfect timing. Who would have thought a wife could get her husband an interview?? YAY!

But wait, we're not through with the morning phone calls just yet. Our realtor in Abilene calls to say there are 2 couples in the process of putting offers in our house, pending certain things. This is more great news! The one couple is actually paying for an inspection, and that is the furthest anyone has ever gotten to making a legit offer, so please keep praying!! It would be amazing to have the house sell so that we could have money to get settle in wherever the new job is going to be.

Next phone call was full of mixed emotions. It was from our realtor in San Angelo saying that the bank came and changed the locks on the house and it was officially in foreclosure, which we've been anticipating for some time. With 2 kids, 2 houses, 2 mortgages, a car and 11 months of unemployment eventually something has to give. I am glad that it is officially off our hands now, even though it will severely damage our US credit. But this is the type of closure I was praying for last night!! One option off the board and we're moving on. This is a good thing overall, it really is.

Feeling a little overwhelmed I turn on our computer so that I can blog a little. If you haven't tried it, I find blogging very therapeutic. I am pretty much an open book anyways, this is a way I share with my friends all over the globe. As I go to my dashboard and get ready to create a new post I see my dear friend has written something new... Things Aren't Always What They Seem. As fast as my fingers could possibly go, I rush and hurry to open her blog because I think I may know what she's referring to. Please God let me know what she's referring to!!

Sure enough. After tests and treatments, and THANKFULLY not chemo, my friend has received the results from her biopsy. No malignant cells. No cancer. WOW. What an amazing feeling. She was a day away from leaving to Mexico for chemotherapy and other treatments. God has amazingly stepped in to stop her from going and spending unnecessary money and time on a disease she doesn't have. I know the roller coaster of emotions I'm going through so I give her a quick call (even though I'm not expecting an answer) and leave a voicemail celebrating with her. She quickly calls me back and we chat for an hour. Does she still have a gigantic lump on her neck? Sadly, yes. Now begins the journey to find out what it is, or better yet, just how to treat it. I recently heard a really cool testimony from another friend about disease, so I will share in my own words her experience.

Her 6 month old daughter was very sick, throwing up, very high fever, and not nursing or taking a bottle so they toke her to the hospital. Many tests and pokes later the doctors cannot tell them what is wrong. They are thinking of doing more tests to narrow it down and in her quiet time with the Lord she cries out to him "Why can't they just tell us what is wrong so we know??" The Lord spoke to her heart and said "there isn't a "name" on her situation because HE is the Name above all names and that since we are not receiving any "names" or diagnosis then we aren't going to find out what that "name" is! How awesome is that? The doctor can't even find out what is causing this, because we don't receive sickness in Jesus Name. By HIS stripes, she is healed and whole."

This testimony of God's goodness brings me to tears every time because she was healed and sent home, no diagnosis. Just healed. This is my prayer for Jill. Be healed! Be set free!

So from devastating news back to hope, here we are today heading into another weekend. February is half over, another week gone. My prayer is that not another week passes the same way they have been. I am clinging to the hope that lies ahead, and that is what I choose to focus on. See you back again next week!

The Burnett Bunch

A Sliver of Silver Lining

Wow, that last post was really, really, negative wasn't it??? YIKES! Let's hope that I don't write too many more (if any) blog posts from that place again. I'm not going to jump and shout for joy just yet, but there are a few possibilities out there right now that will help ease/change our situation(s).

First of all, my interviews went well. One was at a placement agency/temp agency and I'm just not interested. I need a job whether it's FT or PT, but I need to know the days I'm going to work or not. Being on-call with 2 babies just doesn't work for me. I also went and did a "test" at The Superstore. It was basically a personality test to determine how you deal with authority (supervisors) and theft/stealing. Makes sense in a grocery/retail store setting. As long as I can read I am sure I passed with flying colors. I find myself very drawn to working there because The Superstore has everything from clothes, house goods, to groceries and employees receive 10% off of everything. I am all for a discount!! I should hear back from them this week.

I think Mike is experiencing a bit of a wake-up call by having to be Mr. Mom now. Yesterday was my first whole day away from the house and things with the kids and Mike were a bit chaotic to say the least. It will take some time to make the adjustment in the family dynamic but I have full confidence that they'll all have fun at home together for the necessary amount of time. Both Mike and I know that this is a temporary solution, it is what we have to do to make ends meet right now, so we make it work together. TOGETHER. TEAM WORK. Those are beautiful words that bring music to my ears and tears to my eyes. Surviving such a life struggle wouldn't be possible if I didn't have my best friend by my side, sometime literally, most times figuratively. I am beyond blessed to call Mike my husband.

Lots to report today, so I am not sure if I should squeeze it all into one post or make two, guess I'll decide later! Also yesterday, Mike received 2 important emails. One saying his resume was being forwarded to a heaD office in Germany - ja, hooray! Europa! We are open minded as I mentioned before, so we are excited to see how that plays out. The company has wind turbines in Spain, Portugal, France and the UK. What an adventure that would be. The other was to schedule a phone interview. Here's the ironic part - the job position is in... Texas. **Insert huge SIGH here**

Didn't we just flee from Texas due to the lack of jobs? And because of the horrendous cost of health care? How much would Mike have to be paid for us to move back there? This is a permanent position with the company but a "temporary" site. If the service contract isn't renewed after 2-5 years, then off we move again. The news of this job in Texas had my stomach in knots all night. It just didn't seem right to me. Lord, is this really where you are asking us to go? Nothing was lining up, and we weren't receiving closure on any ideas, or opportunities. Just more what ifs. Needless to say that when Mike tried to book the interview online all the slots were taken and he asked me to call in the morning to schedule him one for next week. I said I would.

Last night as I laid there with these huge knots churning in my stomach, listening to Heidi breathe contently in her crib I began to pray "Lord please give us closure". I so badly want to move on. Leave all these troubles and worries behind us. I prayed for jobs, I prayed for houses and I prayed for our kids and our friends/family and peacefully let myself drift into sleep...


P.S. - Here's some random information for the locals reading... on Tuesday morning I had my hair cut and colored at Purley Inspired Kelsey Yule Academy of Beauty - yes, by students! I was a bit worried but it was all that I could afford and... it turned out great!! The young lady who did my hair was named Jericho. She was very pleasant and always checked with me that she was doing what I wanted. It was wonderful!! I will definitely be going back before she graduates in April. Here's a little peek...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Will It Ever End?


This has officially been the worst 12 months of my entire life. This past year has been terribly hard for both Mike and I and just when we thought the end was in sight, when we thought we could shake off the dust and put on our dancing shoes the rug gets pulled out from underneath us AGAIN.

If you've been reading/following our story for any amount of time you will know that Mike was laid off last March; yes, as in a year ago. He has tried to find every type of work from industry related jobs to pumping gas and delivering pizza - with no success. As a family we have taken refuge with my parents, hoping it would be a short term solution. That was back in November and it's now February. Yeesh.

Mike was blessed with an incredible job offer back in December and we've been waiting and praying for it to come to fruition. Every where we turn there is a road block - another mountain, if you will. Our prayer is and will continue to be "LORD MOVE THE MOUNTAINS IN OUR LIFE".

With a written job offer in hand Mike went to the Montana border crossing to get his work permit approved and it was denied because the person who wrote it did a poor job and the job description did not line up with the work permit category. Mike was under the impression that if that was corrected he could reapply, so that's what happened. The company re-wrote some stuff and Mike went to a different crossing. That officer was even more mad at him and accused him of trying to trick him, of falsifying documents and threatened to deport him!! ARGH! Both Immigration Officers insisted that obtaining an LMO (labor market opinion) was the only way to go. DO NOT COME BACK AND TRY TO GET A WORK PERMIT BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE 2 STRIKES AGAINST YOU! Ok, point made.

Mike asks the employer to obtain the LMO. Some genius in HR simply says no. Why not? It doesn't cost anything, it is not difficult, and there is no penalty if you apply and it is denied. This is the fastest way to get Mike actually working at his job. The final answer is no. Thank goodness for the grace of God because the hiring manager says that he doesn't need anyone for the position immediately, so if Mike can get his permanent residency, the job is still his. Bad news: residency takes a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 18!!

This is why I haven't written for some time now. One: I do not have anything really positive to report, and two: I've been so emotional about it all that I haven't been in the frame of mind to write any of it down.

And the hits keep on coming. We are in a rock and a hard spot now because there are 2 ways to apply for the residency - from inside Canada or outside Canada. Inside is faster, but while it is being processed Mike cannot leave the country or his application will be void and there's $500 (that we don't have to spare in the first place) down the drain. So if he were to receive another offer for work in the US or overseas (yes at this point we are considering working ANY WHERE), then he would have to choose between a job or residency. Also, there is no appeal if you apply from inside and will be asked to leave if denied. You can still visit and re-apply from outside Canada and pay again. So what do we choose? To apply from inside hoping for the best or look at how our last year has gone and hedge our bets and plan for the worst case scenario???

Please don't misunderstand me. I am generally a happy go-lucky type of person who can roll with the punches, just not the sucker punches. I am really not this pessimistic all the time, not even 40% of the time. This has just been the worst year EVER.

On top of everything else I believe that I am suffering on some level from post partum depression and that doesn't make anything easier to deal with. I will confirm this with my doctor on Feb 18th, and hopefully get some really great drugs that will help me keep my chin above water for a little while longer.

With all the job disaster, residency etc I am pretty much being forced back to work to feed and diaper my babies. My parents have been great but this is past the point of ridiculous. We are two healthy, educated 30-something adults... we NEED to work. Forget all the frills (scrapbooking, xbox), we need food, shelter, clothing. So in preparation to head back into the working world after my 3 year retirement I am getting my hair cut and colored (at the hair school, because it costs WAY less) on Tuesday morning. I am such a huge believer in the fact that you only get one chance to make a great first impression, and hair especially for a woman, plays a major role in that. After my hair appointment [as long as I still have hair and it looks nice] I will be heading out to put out more applications and to follow up on the ones I have already done online. Thankfully I have an interview on Wednesday morning, so we'll see how that turns out. If nothing else it will help me brush up on my interviewing skills.

Returning to work means that I will have to stop nursing Heidi and switch to bottle feeding which is frustrating and, of course, more expensive. **SIGH** Like I said at the beginning, will it ever end??

I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God answers ALL prayers. The answer isn't always yes though and we are learning to walk through that. This is what James was talking about. If you haven't read Job or James, take a gander and then let God know how grateful you are for all your blessings. I am very grateful that we were able to make it up to Canada for my parents to help us out, otherwise I truly believe that we wouldn't be far from being homeless. I am definitely grateful for that and thankful that our kids are so little that they will never remember this terrible year.

I hope the last few posts haven't scared off any readers. Both Mike and I believe in living very honest and open lives, even when it hurts. Many thanks again for your loving prayers & support, no matter where you are.

The Burnetts


Saturday, February 6, 2010


I guess we have not updated the blog recently because we feel there isn't much to report. A lot has gone on behind the scenes but not much has changed in our day to day life.

Harrison and Heidi continue to do well together; he is such a doting big brother. Whenever I take Heidi out of her bouncy seat to hold her, change her or nurse her he immediately climbs up on the chair to grab her blanket and bring it to her. It is so sweet, he really cares for her. It seems in this last week Heidi has made a shift to spending significantly more time awake each day. I don't think I was quite ready for this yet as I am still struggling to feel rested myself. That is a whole other post for another day though.

Unfortunately Mike wasn't able to start his new job this week after all. It was a huge disappointment to us, especially him. There are still challenges with his paperwork that need to be worked out. There was a solution approached on Friday but we didn't hear the outcome before the end of the day so we are left wondering for the weekend, which is just plain frustrating after you have already waited so long and come so far (physically and emotionally). I know that the Lord is in control and we have given this to him to handle. I cannot tell you how much my heart yearns for a space of our own to call home, where my husband walks in the door every day after work and I greet him with an affectionate kiss and our children are happily playing in their own bedrooms. This is happiness for me, this is where I find peace. The Word encourages me that the Lord knows the desires of my heart and also that what He has started in me He will also complete. This has been a very dark valley for Mike and I to walk through over this last year. We are ready to leave it all behind us and move on to live for the glory of our God. Will this be your prayer for our family?

Grandma and Grandpa have been in Maui, Hawaii this last week on vacation. We have heard once from them upon arrival so we know they were having fun and relaxing. I can't wait to hear all about the horseback ride along the volcano and the underwater coral reef tour! I am sure they'll have some amazing pictures too. I know that Harrison has missed them since he spends almost every evening with both of them. He'll be happy when they walk in the door tomorrow!

Thanks for reading. Sorry for the short update, hopefully we'll have some more exciting news soon.

The Burnett Bunch